Categories Billions Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 5: Flaw in the Death Star – April 23, 2018

It’s Time to Put Aside the Measuring Tape, Boys!

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 23, 2018

Source: Showtime

While I find the way they operate appalling, it is impossible not to applaud Axe and Chuck for eliminating a lot of risk in the first four episodes. Chuck has been able to convince Dake to cover up Wendy’s Ice Juice short,  change the judge in the Axelrod case and keep his father quiet about his involvement in Ice Juice. Axe’s performance has been even more stellar with him keeping Danny Margolis and the Burke Brothers on his side, having Maria Gonzalez deported, and giving Ira his life back along with an engagement ring from Buccellati’s exclusive collection. We now find the two men going after the loyalty of the same man simultaneously: Dr. Gilbert is the man of the hour.

While Axe is looking forward to his trip to Silicon Valley, the new Halls deliver news big enough to keep him in New York. The Eastern District has grilled every doctor Axe has been to or donated to — including Dr. Gilbert. This reminds Axe that the doctor may still have the slide he told him to get rid of once he verified with him that the bacteria they put in Ice Juice would not be fatal for anyone. Axe may now be saying his line of business is all about eliminating risk but he has no one to blame but himself for Dr. Gilbert having the slide! I highly recommend Axe to hire our own Gingersnap who had said the day after Season 2 Episode 11 Golden Frog Time that Axe should not have left that slide with Dr. Gilbert as a consultant!

Axe now has no other option but cancelling his Bay Area trip and sending his CIO in his stead to meet Oscar Langstraat. It is hilarious that Axe tells Oscar that Taylor is a huge fan of him and his work while Taylor tells Axe they do not want to spend time with Langstraat since they believe Venture Capitalists are nothing but hedge-funders that can quote the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

While Bryan seems to have seen dozens of doctors with ties to Axe, he still has not been able to pinpoint the one that may have helped develop the bacteria. Dake is frustrated failure has now become a familiar refrain with Bryan and hopes it does not become his anthem.

Chuck wakes up Wendy as he gets a call from Dake in the middle of the night about the doctor situation: Chuck cannot now unsee what he saw when he had sneaked into Wendy’s laptop in Season 1 Episode 11 Magical Thinking: Axe convinced a doctor not to tell Donnie about the experimental drug trials that could give him another few months and one last Christmas with his family. Chances are, this could be the doctor that has helped Axe with the toxin in Ice Juice. Chuck says he is determined to pay a visit to Walter, Donnie’s husband, even if Wendy tells him not to do it. Well, she does not.

I know some viewers do not find it plausible that Wendy is supporting both Axe and Chuck in the case. I find it compelling: Wendy cannot choose sides in the Ice Juice case because she will fall with whatever side falls. Her optimal play is trying her best for both Chuck and Axe to get out of this with minimal damage.

It is obvious that Chuck, in Walter’s eyes, is the man who made his husband’s last months a living hell. He does not shake hands with Chuck, and when the latter tells him about how Axe, in cooperation with the oncologist, stole Donnie’s Christmas, Walter responds that Donnie’s doctor was compassionate. He did not only attend Donnie’s funeral but also he was one of the first 15 people that contributed to the Donnie Caan Success Academy, a charter school Walter is now establishing in Donnie’s memory. Chuck expresses his sincerest apologies and leaves with all the information he needs: It takes one of his minions at the SDNY to look at the charter school’s list of investors to identify the doctor!

Axe and his “ninjas” find Dr. Gilbert in Fort Tyron Park as he is enjoying his favorite pastime: bird photography. The doctor says he has got rid of the slide per Axe’s instructions, but Axe does not believe anyone would have a free get-out-of-jail card and throw it away. The slide has Axe’s fingerprints and it turns out even if the toxin goes away, the fingerprints stay for years, if refrigerated. Axe also finds out from Orrin Bach that they may go for a chain of custody argument saying Axe’s fingerprints could have been taken off a glass of Pappy and transferred, yet the likelihood of such an event is not more than that of “lightning striking powerball winner.”

It turns out Dr. Gilbert has not used any of the money he received from Axe for personal expenses. All the money went to research as the doctor and his family lived a frugal life with little debt. This makes the doctor a hard read for Axe. So the new Halls apply pressure elsewhere trying to have a read of the doctor: His grant being reviewed and the lease on his lab being questioned out of blue, Dr. Gilbert agrees to meet with Axe again: And as much as his story of burning the slide in a kiln in the same way the Russians got rid of thousands of doping samples is plausible, neither Axe nor I believe Dr. Gilbert when he swears on his Hippocratic oath. Well, would you? By the way, it is hilarious that Hall was “Iceland” on Axe’s phone, and the New Halls are “Greenland.”

While Axe gets to meet with Dr. Gilbert in Fort Tyron Park, Chuck chooses to meet him in Central Park at the beautiful Bethesda Fountain. Chuck understands the doctor may not want to get on the stand, and guess what, if there is physical evidence that can speak for him, then he does not need to.

Axe is finally able to have his read of the doctor when he comes back to ask for $200M to have a better life for himself and his family: Knowing that this is a man that does not want money, Axe now knows he is fucked. What he does not know is that the slide is now in Wendy’s refrigerator!

Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis